Posts Tagged ‘e-bike

08
Jul
10

Scooter 1-2-3

Faster and sturdier than an electric bicycle, casual and a small enough an engine that a license is merely a formality. Anyone can learn to drive a scooter or moped (电动车).

It’s relatively quiet, efficient and fast. And affordable. A friend recently bought a black and red one, low CC Chinese-brand scooter for RMB 2500 (USD 368). “Liberating and a ton of fun!” he exclaimed, before tossing his man-purse into the scooter’s seat compartment, and put-put-putting off into the night.

But the best thing about the scooter is that unlike a bicycle, you can carry not just one, but two or heck, even three extra passengers.

Whether you’re travelling alone, with a buddy or as a family, a scooter gives you enough plastic casing, leather seating and that much horse-power, to take you places.

June 2010

06
Apr
10

The red bag (and buying a 2-wheeler)

Shanghai is a dense enough city that getting around can be quite a breeze.

The city has an ever expanding metro system which carries 3 million people each day, we’re up to 10 subway lines now and it is estimated to be double the size of London’s tube system by 2020. Cabs are relatively easy to flag down on the streets and if you’re lucky, you’d spot one of the new shiny Expo Volkswagon or Buick cabs that actually have seatbelts that work.

But there are also tens of thousands of people on two wheels zipping by the street while you are sitting in traffic, which seems to have worsened over the years. The mobility can be liberating.

I’ve been eyeing a moped (MOtor+PEDals) for a while but may settle for an electric bike. The former seems unwieldy, and the latter, if stolen, is easier to bear.

It’d be perfect to beat the arduous traffic clustering around my office area and head to the nearby wet market for groceries. I regularly cross the Huangpu river by ferry, along with the thousands of day-workers and pay 0.5RMB a trip, 1RMB if you’re on a 2-wheeler. If you’ve never done it before, I heartily recommend it as the view can be amazing.

Yes, I’m beginning to like the idea a lot. Stay tuned.

24
Mar
10

The ubiquitous Chinese electric bike

“In the chaotic ecosystem of Chinese roadways, the electric bike fits in right where the infernal moped might have once hoped to go, as a stepping stone for growing families or a low-cost option for commuters.

For anyone who has not been to China, it is easy to lose sight of just how big a deal this is: China has twenty-five million cars, but it has four times as many e-bikes.” ~ Evan Osnos, “The Turtle King Revolution”, Letter from China, The New Yorker

Taken on Lanxi Road (兰溪路)

March 2010




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